PORT MORESBY - A Facebook post by a Mr Tony Koyangko for good hearted people to donate a book for the 2,500 students at West Goroka Primary School broke my heart,
Of course, West Goroka isn’t the only one - there are so many schools in Papua New Guinea with a similar plea.
Occasionally in Port Moresby, I visit the Moale Dabua secondhand clothing shop which also stocks good reading books.
The result is I have a carton full of books, mainly fiction, collecting dust in a corner of my room. I’ll be sending some of them with complimentary copies of my own novel, ‘Tam’gega – Fatherless Child’, to Goroka next week via DHL.
Lately, I’ve been writing children’s stories for the Library for All project. As a writer, I like to use my skills to help improve literacy in PNG.
I’d like to write culturally relevant stories and publish them as books for our primary school students. But, I’d need financial support to order thousands of the books to distribute to schools in rural areas. Just a few thousand kina to order and airfreight the books would do, if only our politicians had a heart.
While our politicians see it fit to spend millions of kina on a yoga program in Port Moresby, the quality of education in PNG has deteriorated over the past few decades. Many schools do not have classrooms, teachers and books. As a result, children are losing interest in going to school.
Many students in rural areas come from poor backgrounds. Families are often unable to afford a school uniform, a school bag or necessary reading materials and stationary. Books to enhance knowledge about the outside world is a luxury to these students.
I’m sure there are lots of good Papua New Guineans who want to contribute something to the nation. Let’s create a brighter future for our children. Let’s help improve literacy and the opportunity for our students to reach their true potential and to fulfill their dreams.
You can contact Tony Koyangko on mobile (+675) 7633 0743 or at West Goroka Primary School, PO Box 1385, Goroka, EHP, Papua New Guinea.